How to be a Relationship Role Model for Your Kids After Divorce

One of the greatest gifts you can give to your child is to be a positive role model. Learning how to be a relationship role model for your child is vital, especially in divorce in Jacksonville. Your child is watching you and learning how to navigate relationships based on your example. Whether you live in Jacksonville or New York, relationships require good choices.

Kenny Leigh and Associates is a men-only family law firm with offices in Jacksonville, Daytona, Fleming Island, Gainesville, Fort Walton Beach, and Boca Raton, serving all of North and South Florida.

Modeling Positive Relationship Choices              

All relationships flourish when you are able to make positive choices. Not only will your relationships flourish, but you will be giving a gift, through role modeling, to all those around you, including your children. Making healthy choices is not always easy. The good news is that you can focus, even during the hardest times, and make healthy choices that not only benefit the relationship, but will give you peace of mind. The first step is to practice "being conscious."  It's important to be conscious of your choices, especially if you are getting a divorce in Jacksonville.

Being Conscious of Your Choices

People make unconscious choices over 90% of the time. What that means is that you are reacting to certain triggers, without thinking about it. This can be a big problem, if you find yourself angry or saturated with other negative emotional responses, when someone does something. In divorce situations, you are especially vulnerable to unconscious reactions.  The only way you can combat unconscious reactions is to practice being conscious. Try these steps:

  • Think about what triggers you emotionally.

  • Next time you are triggered, remind yourself, "I am having a triggered reaction."

  • Take a moment to breathe and exhale your anger, sadness, frustration, etc.

  • Make a choice to "respond" rather than react.

How You Can Respond Consciously and Positively

After following the steps for being conscious, make a choice that positively models good relationship skills for your children. The next step is about communication. Communication, or lack thereof, will make or break all your relationships. Good communication skills incorporate the understanding that people do not "ever" do anything "to you." All people, including you, make choices based on your individual needs. Choices made to meet needs are strategies. Some tactics are unhealthy and some tactics are healthy. Get rid of your unhealthy tactics by making conscious choices. As you become more conscious of your choices, you are adopting healthier strategies to meet your needs. When you need to communicate, in a casual setting or a mediation setting, try this strategies:

  • Use the steps described earlier to be conscious.

  • Remember that what people do is about them, not you.

  • Figure out what your feelings are and what triggered them through observation. Be sure not to make judgments or evaluate others' behaviors. Observation does not require that you find a "right or wrong" in the situation.

  • State what your feelings are and what triggered them. For example, "Our daughter shared that you have said some negative things about me. It doesn't feel good to me, when you talk to our daughter about me negatively."

  • Think about what you need, and make a request, "I know when our daughter hears either of us disparaging the other, it really upsets her. Would you be willing to refrain from talking to her about me in a negative way?"

  • Listen if the other person has something to share. It is important not to hear judgment, even when there is judgment. Instead, remind yourself that the other person may have trouble expressing their feelings in a positive way. If you can, re-direct any blame-oriented statements to inquiries about their feelings, and what caused them--the actual act that caused them.

Practice Being Conscious

As you practice the steps for being conscious, and utilizing healthy communication, your child will be watching, listening, and adopting your processes and choices. Even when the other parent cannot model positive behaviors, you can make a lifetime difference in your child's journey through life by choosing to model positive relationship strategies. Practicing consciousness will help you avoid future divorce in Jacksonville.

Divorce is Hard On Your Children

Getting a divorce is a difficult time for everyone, especially your children. The steps shown above will help you navigate your relationship with your ex, in a positive way, but it applies to all of your relationships. During a divorce in Jacksonville, it helps to plan ahead for the hard moments. There are many tips for navigating a divorce; find the ones that work for you.

Kenny Leigh and Associates is a men-only family law firm with offices in Jacksonville, Daytona, Fleming Island, Gainesville, Fort Walton Beach, and Boca Raton, serving all of North and South Florida.

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